History of Gortnahoe NS


In 1947 Gortnahoe NS was opened containing two classrooms. The old school beside the church was vacated. In 1956 a third teacher was appointed and as there was no room for this teacher in the new school the third teacher took her class in the old school. In 1961 a third classroom was added to the new school and the the thrird teacher came across to the school.

In 1973 Graigue National School, which is 4 miles from Gortnahoe was closed down and the pupils were transferred to Gortnahoe National School. Then in 1980 a fourth classroom and a general purpose room was erected and joined to the school. In 1981 Clonmicklon National School, which is 2 miles from Gortnahoe was closed down and subsequently transferred to Gortnahoe National School. With increasing numbers and a sixth teacher on the school staff, another extension was completed in 1993 containing another classroom, a store room and a staff room. Originally there were two cloakrooms in the school but both of them have been converted. In the infant room and the last classroom to be built, there are adjoining toilets for the pupils. Each classroom is heated by oil powered radiators. We now have 5 classrooms and two special education rooms. An extension was added in 2011 and has been made available to the local community. The back of the school is now entirely covered with tarmacadam providing an excellent play area for all the classes with playground markings thereon. We also have access to the local GAA field directly behind the school with separate dressing rooms for boys and girls, each with their own entrance by the pitch.


Major change has happened in our school over the years.  We share just a few of them with you.  If we go back to the last century the National Board of Education gave some badly needed financial help.  It was non-denominational and as a result the Board refused to allow any religious emblems to be maintained on permanent display in schools.  Crucifixes and statues were hidden away in cupboards, to be taken out during the time for religious instruction and then stowed away again.  During the 1850’s rigorous inspection of convent schools took place to ensure that this rule was being observed.   With the introduction of our own Department of Education an important place was given in our national school to the teaching of religion.


The raising of the school leaving age and the introduction of free Post-Primary education radically changed the pattern of school leaving in the early 1960’s.  Up to the early 1960’s the majority of pupils ended their formal education in Primary Schools.  In Gortnahoe School in the three years from 1958 to 1960 23 of the boys and 17 of the girls finishing school went to no other school.  Four of the boys and seven of the girls went to Post Primary School.  In the years 1963 to 1965 inclusive eight of the boys and six of the girls finishing school went to no other school, while 12 of the boys and 14 of the girls went to Post Primary school.  All this further education has changed our standards so much.


In 1973 Graigue School closed and twelve boys and ten girls who had attended Graigue School up to that time came to Gortnahoe School.  In 1981 Clonamicklon School closed and seven boys and eight girls who attended Clonamicklon School up to that time came to Gortnahoe School.


2015 – New Heating System Installed

2016 – Part of the school re – wired


Teaching Staff in Gortnahoe 2018 – 1947

David O’Dwyer   Principal  2016 – Present

Mary Gallagher Cooke   – Present

Ruth Maher  2006 – Present

Ciara Lanigan   2009 – Present

Sarah Maher 2011  – Present

Mary Hurley  2017 – Present

Ciara O’Dwyer  Temporary Position 2018/2019

Mary Kate Mac Gabhann Maternity Leave Position 2018/2019

Therese Kennedy Shared Part Time Resource 2018/2019

Therese Meehan  Deputy Principal   – Retired 1st of September 2018

Katherine Hyland ( Job Sharing 2016/2017

Annie Hayes  Temporary 2016/2017

Laura Quirke  Shared Part Time Resource 2016/2017

Derek O’Brien Principal 1993 to 2016

Margaret O’Brien

Maura Moloney

Norma Moore

Geraldine Tynan

Donal Ryan

Joe Carroll

Ursula Maher

Kathleen Carroll

Harry Monson

Mary Barry

Ann Cusack

Kathleen Pyne

Jerry Walshe  Principal 1961 – 1993

Paul Foyle Principal  – 1961

Margaret O’Donnell

Eileen Lanigan

Charlie O’Donnell  Principal